Welcome to Real Life Style Blog!

Can changing your wardrobe really change your life? Of course it can! Imagine how light and powerful you would feel if 100% of the clothes in your closet were the right clothes for you right now. Imagine that your wardrobe reflected both your personality and your personal style, while suiting your lifestyle. That, ladies and gentlemen, is called Real Life Style. Want to be able to look and feel put together in just 2 minutes a day? You can.

Click here for more information about how you can work with Lani and click here to schedule your free consultation. Because fashion should be an outlet for fun, not frustration!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Container Store Did Not Pay Me For This One

Meurice Garment Care asked me to answer some customer questions for a blog post this week. One of the questions, how to deal with the challenge of a NYC sized closet (small!), was so much fun to answer, I decided to share it with my blog readers as well. As a bonus, my dear readers get an extra tip and pictures! And lots of links to items you can buy at The Container Store!

The original question, from Mary Lynn Halland, is this: How should NYers with small closets (isn't that all of us?) organize their clothes. It's hard to figure out what to wear when you can't see everything at a glance. Bingo! Mary has found the root of the problem and I'm here with 6 tips to help you solve your space challenges.

Tip #1. Make more space with skinny hangers. And no, I don't mean the kind from the corner dry cleaner! Flocked velvet hangers, such as the Huggable Hanger line, protect the shape of your clothes and use MUCH less space than wooden, metal or plastic hangers.

Huggable Hangers

Tip #2. Double your hanging space for $9.99! Everyone to whom I've shown this simple, inexpensive fix, is amazed at the impact it has on their storage space.

Double Hang Closet Rod

Tip #3. Only the clothes you are currently wearing should be hanging in your closet. Put off-season clothes in beautiful fabric bins which you can stack vertically on the top shelf of your closet or another out of the way place. Black tie clothes you wear once a year should also find a new home. Sandals can go in underbed boxes, replaced by boots in the summer.

Baroque Fabric Bins

Tip #4. Repurpose furniture. I believe that out-of-sight equals out-of-mind. Why not stack sweaters and tee shirts on an open bookshelf, instead of away in a dresser?

Verona Four Shelf Bookcase from World Market

Tip #5. Throw away your shoe boxes! The original boxes, that is. Replace them with clear shoe drawers. This allows you to stack many more pairs on the top or bottom of your closet while making them truly accessible.

Clear Shoe Drawers
Tip #6. Put like with like. This may sound elementary to those of you who are naturally organized, but most people don't naturally take this step. You want pants with pants, skirts with skirts, and short sleeve tees with the other short sleeve tees, not the long sleeve or sleeveless ones! How would you know whether or not you needed a fresh white button down shirt if they are scattered around the closet? You wouldn't! Therefore you would buy a new one when they went on sale each season. This sounds like a smart strategy until you gather them all together in one place and realize your have many, many more than you would ever need. Shall we see if said shirt buyer can identify himself ?????

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

To Keep or Not to Keep

Last week I gave you 5 strategies to use when buying clothes while you are not at your usual size. This week I am telling you what to do with all of the clothes that don't currently fit.

1. EDIT, EDIT, EDIT. If an item of clothing is dated, worn, or in the wrong color now, you can bet you won't want to wear it in two years when you are done losing your baby weight. Only save the REALLY good stuff.

2. TRY ON EVERYTHING IN YOUR CLOSET. Yes, I mean everything. The other day I was freaking out that I had NOTHING to wear to a weekend of wedding events in June. Then I actually tried on the dresses hanging in my closet. Lo and behold, I actually had enough in there that fit to get me through the weekend. Ka-ching! Money and time saved shopping for new outfits.

3. WHERE TO PUT IT ALL. Your closet is not the place for size 4 skinny jeans if you are currently a size 8. Those clothes go in a labeled, organized, clear bin somewhere you don't have to look at them. Your closet is the place for a few of your favorite size 6 pieces that you will use to gauge if you are back in that size. I put my usual go-to wedding outfits, my prized collection of Alberta Ferretti dresses, hanging together in the corner of my closet, to remind me how much I want to get back into them!

4. ADDRESS YOUR LIFESTYLE. Are you now a stay-at-home or work-at-home Mom? Then you probably won't need all of the suits you wore for your life as a banker when you were 25. Miniskirts and tops you wore to the bar where you met your husband 10 years ago should also go, even if they still fit.

5. BE GENEROUS. A great reason to edit ruthlessly is to give to others. Hang onto those suits for another 5 years and they might be too dated for someone else to wear. Donate them now and a woman in need can wear them to a job interview.

One final word of advice: Don't be afraid of empty space in your closet. The less you have, the more  you will wear. Trust me.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

To Buy or Not To Buy

One of the most frequent fashion conundrums I'm asked about is whether or not to buy new clothes during transition times such as after pregnancy or when you've gained a few pounds from stress. It is natural to think you would be wasting money by purchasing new clothes when you think you will fit back into your "regular" clothes within a few months. This would be a mistake. You are actually wasting time not feeling good about yourself when you DON'T buy yourself some new clothes. Lest you think I'm being extravagant, I have a strategy for you dear reader!

1. KEEP IT CHEAP AND CHEERFUL. Shop at stores like H&M, Old Navy and The Gap, where you can get the most fashion for your money.

2. GO FOR THE TRENDS. If you aren't spending much you can reasonably assume the clothes won't last very long, so why not embrace the trends this season?

3. BUY WHAT YOU LOVE. If your post-baby belly is making you blue, cheer yourself up with a bright top or scarf. Yes, you should get a basic black and white tee, but you should also get a hot pink striped one if that is going to keep you excited to get dressed each morning.

4. MAKE IT FLEXIBLE. Boxier tops will still look good with skinny jeans when you are skinnier, a cotton maxi skirt will shrink with you, and a scarf always fits!

5. INVEST IN ACCESSORIES. Wearing good shoes, a pricier bag, and an expensive pair of earrings will up the perceived value of any outfit. And best of all, they'll always fit!

How about a black maxi skirt instead of the fall back yoga pant for the new mom and others not wanting to deal with denim? The scarf and relaxed silhouette of the top distract from a larger top half and the long black skirt shrinks the lower half. Add a chic but comfortable leather sandal for a complete look.

Old Navy 3/4 Sleeve Yellow Top $29.94
Zappos Black Maxi Skirt $75
Old Navy Zig Zag Print Scarf $16.94
Zappos Kork-Ease Katherine Sandals $135
The structure of a blazer smoothes any lumps around the middle and dresses up a tee shirt and jeans. Gold hued earrings brighten up the face and give you a natural glow. Bright colors add interest and make you feel and look current. Patterned flats make you look oh so fashionable and really bring the outfit together.

H&M Orange Blazer $49.95
Topshop Blue Skinny Jeans $60
Larkspur & Hawk Earrings $1,150
Repetto Ballet Flats $265

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Summer Sandal Alert! The Best of Nine West

Aren't we all just looking for cute, affordable summer sandals? I thought so! Nine West has always been a brand I thought of as what I shopped in high school (yes, I know I am dating myself!). However, in the last few years I have come to realize that they are again the best fashion shoes for the money.

I believe in value. Is the style current but not so current that you'll only be able to wear the shoe for one season? Is the shoe comfortable enough that you'll wear it often? Are they a high enough quality to withstand wear and tear and not look like you were trying to knock-off a more expensive pair?

Nine West is a good value for your money, and as my clients know, I love saving them money! Here are some of my favorite Nine West sandals this season.

Has anyone else noticed the snake motif running through fashion this year? I love it and I love these snake sandals!
Benvolio gold snake sandal $130

The Wedge is THE LOOK this season. This flax colored pair will go perfectly with this season's brightly colored skirts and dresses. If these are comfy, they'll be my go to this season!
Larysa beige wedge $79

Want a more subtle wedge? The ankle strap and multi-colored snakeskin make this sandal oh so current. I see them as a powerful pop of texture and color with your favorite all-white look.

Precisely turquoise multicolored sandal $89

Going for the Americana look this season? Rock this fringe sandal with your best denim or red, white and blue look.
Flyme natural suede heel $99
Is minimal more your style? Tall enough to go without heels? These black and gold thong sandals could not be more chic.
Wewantit black/gold sandal $79

Do you like the Sea Change trend I've been talking about? These would work just as well at the pool as they would for an evening out. Do you wear flip flops to work (I loathe this habit!)? Why not wear gorgeous ones with Starfish on them?
Nancita blue starfish sandal $49

How cool are they in all white? Wear them with a minimal, all white look for day, mix them with bright colors, or create a black and white look for a night out on the town.
Nancita white starfish sandal $49

Who says evening shoes have to be metallic? This light pink leather is the ultimate sophisticated but TOTALLY HOT evening shoe this summer.
Cannonball light pink leather heel $79
Is anyone else DYING to go summer shoe shopping now????!!!!